Work is a funny thing. From kindergarten, we are trained to enter the workforce. We are taught how to read, how to crunch number, how to think critically so that when we enter the working world, we will be prepared to handle the tasks that we face. How odd, then, that nobody really wants to work too hard. Most of us have problems getting to work late, rather than early. Most of us complain about not having enough vacation, not about having too much. I think if we all had an option, we would rather spend a life of leisure than a life of labor.
This is the inertia that we face in our lives. Sunday through Thursday, I have to force myself to wake up, roll out of bed, and make my way to work. But on Fridays, when I am headed to the golf course, I pop right out of bed without any complaints. Work is a chore.
For Christians, work has to be something else. It should not simply be for the making of money. Work must be for something, about something. This grand something is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not something that is far off, something that we can only experience after our earthly deaths. The Kingdom of God is present, and available to us right here and right now.
We have two options when we work. We can either work for ourselves or we can work for God’s Kingdom. When we work for ourselves, we are in it for ourselves. But when we work for the Kingdom of God, we are in it for the sake of those we are helping. This leads us but to one place: Golgotha, Calvary, the Cross.
Works of charity, helping others in the name of Christ, must be rooted in self-sacrificial love and faith in Jesus. This may even lead us to the cross, a place of shame and desertion. But, for Christians, we know that the cross is not the end of the story. The journey of self-sacrificial love and faith always takes us to the empty tomb – to newer, brighter, and holier lives.
Question for reflection: Where have you seen the Kingdom of God today?